The journalism profession has been undergoing dramatic changes since the beginning of the 21st century. Over the course of the past two decades, many publications that maintained journalists and reporters on their staffs have laid off large swaths of their in-house employees. Moreover, a considerable percentage of publications, including major daily newspapers and long-enduring magazines, have shuttered altogether. These processes have left more journalists facing the prospect of freelancing. An overarching question in t his environments centers on the difficulty of making a living as a freelance journalist. The direct answer is that the majority of people giving freelance journalism as try face significant challenges to make a decent living in the profession.
Competition is Intense in the Freelance Journalism Arena
At the heart of the challenges of making a living as a freelance journalist is that competition in the arena truly is intense. As mentioned before, journalists who previously were employed by publications of different types found themselves unemployed and with few other in-house options. Thus, these seasoned pros took matters into their own hands and entered the world of freelancing.
Because these individuals created decent portfolios whilst working directly for publications, they did begin their careers as freelancers a bit ahead of the pack. However, with an ever-increasing number of people embarking on freelance journalism in recent years, even solid portfolios from the past can get lost in the clamor of writers seeking gigs.
Reasonable Paying Gig Opportunities are Limited
Another challenge to making a living as a freelance journalist is the reality that gigs that pay a reasonable amount of money are relatively small in number. At this juncture in time, this really is a publisher’s market when it comes work and engagement with freelance journalists.
At this juncture in time, a person starting as a freelance journalist is going to have to take assignments that pay what seems below that writer’s paygrade. The fact is, some assignments may pay a pittance. However, bringing in some money is better than sitting idly around without any income. Moreover, even a relatively low-paying gig provides a chance to enhance a portfolio to seek future work,
Making It Work: Living Decently as a Freelance Journalist
The bottom line in this discussion about making a living as a freelancer is that such a goal can be achieved, but not in an effortless manner. At the heart of laying the groundwork to live decently as a freelance journalist are a number of key tactics.
First, in order to make a living as a freelance journalist, a writer is going to have to be committed to putting in long hours, particularly at the start of such an endeavor. The fact is that a 60-hour work week is not beyond comprehension for a freelance journalist striving to lay the foundation for a career with a decent income.
Second, succeeding as a freelance journalist also necessitates writing outside of one’s comfort zone. Moreover, a person must be willing to take on a myriad of different assignments that might not be what a journalist would select if freelancing was an easier process.
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Despite the challenges associated with working as a freelance journalist, a committed, creative professional can make such a job “work.” The freelance world ultimately is good for workers and for the economy, according to Forbes magazine. A tenacious freelancer can make a living as a freelance journalist if he or she is committed not only to the ultimate goal but to taking on writing tasks along the way that may not exactly fit a particular writer’s tastes.